Actual Section of  Map Showing Lots 17 & 18In his 1706 will, a pioneer planter in the area named Ralph Izard left two town lots in "Dorchester upon Ashley River" to his son Walter. It is the first known reference to lots 17 and 18 in a historical document, and it marks a prominent family's long association with the properties. Four generations of the Izard family would own these two lots; it was an association that would be broken only by war.

Ralph Izard migrated to South Carolina from England in the early 1680s and quickly became a prominent landowner and politician in his new home. His son Walter established his family near Dorchester. Like his father, Walter Izard was a wealthy planter and landowner and played a strong role in the politics of the day. When he was only in his thirties he was one of the largest slaveowners in the parish, with a force of ninety-one slaves in 1726. Also like his father, Walter Izard was a staunch Anglican. He was appointed to the commission that created St. George's Dorchester Parish and located the parish church in the center of the village. When Walter Izard died in 1750, he left behind a huge estate which included "two Lotts of land in Dorchester with my Dwelling house & all other Improvements thereon." He willed the lots to his son Ralph.

The younger Ralph Izard transferred lots 17 and 18 to his brother John, who in turn bequeathed them to his daughter Elizabeth. She would be the last Izard family member to own the property.

In 1769 Elizabeth Izard married Alexander Wright, son of Governor James Wright of Georgia. When the Revolution broke out in 1775, Alexander Wright remained loyal to the Crown. When British troops moved into South Carolina in 1779, he joined them and eventually served as a scout. For his actions in the war, Wright was punished by the state of South Carolina. He was banished from the state and all his property was confiscated. Among Wright's land that was seized and sold were lots 17 and 18 in Dorchester.

Alexander Wright and his wife petitioned the British government to compensate then for the property they had lost during the war. Witnesses who spoke on the Wrights' behalf described the house at Dorchester as a wooden house on a brick foundation that had at one time been rented to a local doctor named Archibald McNeil.

Read ObituaryThe Wrights received only a portion of what they claimed to have lost. Alexander Wright fled to Jamaica and never returned to South Carolina. Elizabeth Izard Wright died in 1794 on a plantation not far from Dorchester.

In 1992 ground-penetrating radar pinpointed the foundation of a large structure just beneath the surface on lots 17 and 18. State Outline of Foundation on SitePark Service archeologists and volunteers excavated portions of the foundation in 1993 and 1994, uncovering the remains of a large building that measured forty-three feet by thirty-five feet. A central hallway divided the house into a roughly symmetrical arrangement of four rooms per floor. Two chimneys provided heat for each room. Archeologists concluded that the structure had been a wooden house on a brick foundation, like the one described in the Wrights' loyalist claim. There was no evidence of a major fire, but abundant evidence indicated that bricks had been dug out of the foundation by scavengers. Modern markers trace the location of the foundation walls discovered on these lots.